Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Men Want?

By our guest, Shaunti Feldhahn, best selling author of For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men.

In the movie, What Women Want, Nick, played by Mel Gibson has the power to hear everything women are thinking, including his female competitor who got the promotion he wanted. At first the shocking surprise of what women really think is so painful that he views it as a curse. But he soon realizes just how valuable this gift can be -- and uses it to his competitive advantage.

I felt a lot like a female version of Nick as I was researching my new book, The Male Factor: The Unwritten Rules, Misperceptions and Secret Beliefs of Men in the Workplace. My eight years of research were all about digging into the surprising, private perceptions that are common to men and often impact women – but which we would never hear otherwise. In interviews and surveys, I guaranteed more than 3,000 men anonymity to tell all, so women all across America could be equipped with knowledge that is mission-critical to effectiveness and influence with any male boss, colleague, subordinate or client.

During those years of research I realized that in many ways, the private thoughts and expectations of men functions like the unwritten rules of a foreign culture. When I was working on Wall Street, my job involved analyzing Japanese banks and the financial system, to make recommendations to decision makers. When you go into a foreign culture in that way, you expect to do homework so you know how what you do or say may be perceived in their culture. In many ways, understanding men is like that; there is an internal male culture that is every bit as real as walking into a foreign country. And it is every bit as important to understand how something is going to be perceived. If we grow fluent in this internal male culture, we as women can be much more effective, avoid shooting ourselves in the foot, and even remove some obstacles that we may not have even known were there.

What do men privately say when they are promised anonymity and can be completely honest and candid? Through personal private interviews, focus groups, and a nationally representative survey, The Male Factor identifies a number of hypotheses about how men think that were the greatest surprises to women. These topics became the starting point of each chapter, including:

  • My big picture observations of how men view women in the workplace
  • What is meant by “It’s not personal, it’s business”
  • The “unwritten rules” of the working world
  • How men view emotions – and what they see as ‘getting emotional’ in the first place
  • The secret inner beliefs, concerns and fears every man shares
  • The little things that drive men crazy
  • How men feel about getting it done no matter what
  • The visual trap that can undermine your career
  • Top themes that emerged when men were asked for their advice for women in the workplace

For more information on the book or the research, visit my web site at: http://www.shaunti.com/BooksStudies/TheMaleFactor/tabid/340/Default.aspx

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What To Do When Your Career Path Takes a Detour

What does your career path look like? Maybe you’ve met a roadblock and so now you are on a detour that doesn’t seem to end. Or you may have run into construction in the right lane, so you merged left and had to slow down to 45 mph. At this rate, how will you ever get to where you are going?

“How will you get there?” may not be the right question. Maybe the question should be, “Why am I on this alternate route?”

God is not blind to your situation. In fact, He may actually have a purpose in your being on this path instead of the one you had chosen. His GPS may be set on a different target than yours. What should you do then?

Look at how He has worked in the past. In Genesis 37, 39-47, 50, Joseph faced some major re-routing. Yet he was successful in God’s eyes and in the historical records of our faith.

Take some time to read and study the passages and then consider these questions:

  • How did Joseph respond to the upset in his life?
  • What might he have learned through his set-backs?
  • How did God show Himself to Joseph?
  • What did Joseph learn about God? See Genesis 50: 19,20
  • How can you apply these lessons to your situation?

After praying for understanding, it’s helpful to look at these passages to find God’s perspective on your career path. Then you might want to study the careers of other Bible characters, i.e. Daniel, Joshua. If you discern truth that would be helpful for others, please share it with me.